Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver signed the charter on February 12, 1858, establishing Baker University in Baldwin. Baker University first opened its doors to students in November 1858, in Baldwin City, Kansas.
The United Methodist Church helped fund the creation of Baker University and it was named after Bishop Osman C. Baker. Baker University struggled through its first years due to a drought in 1860 and the Civil War, and the first class graduated in 1866. After the Civil War Baker continued to grow and develop, and the number of buildings and students began to expand. A school of graduate studies was added in 1988, the school of nursing in 1991, and the school of education in 2005. Two buildings at Baker University are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Parmenter Hall, which was added in 1977 and Case Library, which was added in 1986. Abraham Lincoln donated money towards the construction of Parmenter Hall. There are nearly 4,000 students enrolled at Baker University and 900 at the Baldwin City campus.
Entry: Baker University
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2012
Date Modified: February 2014
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